1911-2011
100th Anniversary of Peter Jensen’s Invention of the Loudspeaker

Peter Laurits Jensen, was born in 1886 in Falster, Denmark. He moved to the United States in 1902 and began working in the laboratory of radio pioneer Valdemar Poulsen soon after his public demonstration of the telegraphone at the 1900 Paris Exhibition. Nine years later, in 1911, in a small laboratory in Napa, California, with Mr. Pridham, he experimented with Poulsen's arc radio transmitter, adding thicker wires connected to a diaphragm, and putting a coil of copper wire between magnets, thus making a working model of what they called the "electro-dynamic principle" for voice reproduction.

Jensen applied this principle at a Christmas celebration, surprising townspeople that heard the spoken voice amplified throughout the city. In December 1915 he made the first public demonstrations, on the 10th in Golden Gate Park, and another on the 25th playing music in front of San Francisco City Hall.

In 1927, Jensen founded the Jensen Radio Manufacturing Company in Chicago.

In 1929, Jensen Company manufactured 60% of all speakers being made for independent radio producers.

In the 1930’s and 40’s, Jensen pioneered high fidelity by developing and producing the first multiple speaker system.

In 1930, Jensen introduced the first permanent magnet, dynamic loudspeaker and the first commercial compression-driven horn tweeter.

In 1936, Jensen introduced the bass reflex enclosed speaker.

In 1942, Jensen presented the first commercial coaxial two-way loudspeaker.

In the mid-1940s, Leo Fender developed one of first guitar amplifier and chose Jensen speakers for their excellent tone.

Throughout the 1940’s, 1950’s and most of the 1960’s, Fender, Ampeg, Gibson and all the other major amplifier companies used Jensen musical instrument speakers, until Jensen stopped making them in the late 1960’s.

On October 25th, 1961 Peter Laurits Jensen died of lung cancer at his home in Western Springs, Illinois at age of 75.

In 1996 SICA accepted the challenge to reproduce the legendary Jensen loudspeakers for the market. It began with meticulous research of the original models, analysis of their characteristics, tracing the original component suppliers to find the equipment used to produce the seamed and felted cones. After three years of persistent hard work SICA presented to the market a perfect reproduction, both in sound and in appearance, of the P10R, the most famous Jensen guitar loudspeaker with an AlNiCo magnet.

The success obtained at the 1999 NAMM spurred the engineers and musicians involved in the project to continue with unaltered passion. That same year the other models with AlNiCo magnets came out, including the P12N known as the Blue Bell which continues to stand out for its amazing sound qualities.

In 2000 the Vintage Ceramic series was presented and it is also reproduced in line with the original loudspeakers of the Sixties.

From 2000 to 2007 the Jensen speaker designers dedicated their attention to understanding how the guitar market had evolved over the years and what technical characteristics and tone players were desired.

In 2008 the Jet series was introduced, a series dedicated to modern music. The Jet series includes loudspeakers with magnets in AlNiCo, ferrite and neodymium. The neodymium model is assembled with the “inside voice coil” configuration just like the AlNiCo loudspeakers. All the models share the characteristics of extreme flexibility of use and excellent definition of sound. These loudspeakers mark Jensen’s new approach to the reproduction of guitar sound, and its desire to emphasize this characteristic by giving each model, in addition to its traditional code, a name.

The Jensen Jet series Falcon, Electric Lightning, Tornado and Blackbird speakers, already famous amongst the most meticulous musicians, have set the stage for the celebration of Jensen speaker’s 100th anniversary in 2011.




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